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Βακχιάδαι), a Heracleid clan, derived their name from Bacchis, who was king of Corinth from 926 to 891 B. C., and retained the supreme rule in that state, first under a monarchical form of government, and next as a close oligarchy, till their deposition by Cypselus, about B. C. 657. Diodorus (Fragm. 6), in his list of the Heracleid kings, seems to imply that Bacchis was a lineal descendent from Aletes, who in B. C. 1074 deposed the Sisyphidae and made himself master of Corinth (Wess. ad Diod. l.c.; Pind. O. 13.17; Schol. ad Pind. Nem. 7.155; Paus. 2.4; Müll. Dor. 1.5.9); while from Pausanias (l.c.) it would rather appear, that Bacchis was the founder of a new, though still a Heracleid, dynasty. In his line the throne continued till, in B. C. 748, Telestes was murdered by Arieus and Perantas, who were themselves Bacchiads, and were perhaps merely the instruments of a general conspiracy of the clan to gain for their body a larger share of power than they enjoyed under the regal constitution. (Diod. and Paus. ll. cc.) From Diodorus, it would seem that a year, during which Automenes was king, elapsed before the actual establishment of oligarchy. According to the same author, this form of government, with annual prytanes elected from and by the Bacchiadae, lasted for ninety years (747-657); nor does it appear on what grounds a period of 200 years is assigned to it by Strabo. (Strab. viii. p.378; Müll. Dor. Append. ix. note x.) It was indeed of too narrow and exclusive a kind to be of any very long duration; the members of the ruling clan intermarried only with one another (Hdt. 5.92); and their downfall was moreover hastened by their excessive luxury (Ael. VH 1.19), as well as by their insolence and oppression, of which the atrocious outrage that drove Archias from Corinth, and led to the founding of Syracuse and Corcyra, is probably no very unfair specimen. (Diod. Exc. de Virt. et. Vit. 228; Plut. Amat p. 772e.; Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. 4.1212.) On their deposition by Cypselus, with the help of the lower orders (Hdt. 5.92; Aristot. Pol. 5.10, 12, ed. Bekk.), they were for the most part driven into banishment, and are said to have taken refuge in different parts of Greece, and even Italy. (Plnt. Lysand. 100.1; Liv. 1.34; comp. Niebuhr, Hist. of Rome, vol. i. p. 366, &c.) Some of them, however, appear to have still remained at Corinth, if we may consider as a Bacchiad the Heracleid Phalius, who led the colony to Epidamnus in B. C. 627. (Thuc. 1.24.) As men of the greatest distinction among the Bacchiadae, may be mentioned Philolaus, the legislator of Thebes, about B. C. 728 (Aristot. Pol. 2.12, ed. Bekk.), and Eumelus, the cyclic poet (Paus. 2.1, 3, 4.33; Athen. 1.22c.; Schol. ad Pind. Olymp. 13.30; Müll. Hist. of Greek Lit. c. 10.2.) Strabo tells us also (vii. p. 326), that the Lyncestian kings claimed descent from the Bacchiadae.


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hide References (11 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (11):
    • Aristotle, Politics, 2.1274a
    • Aristotle, Politics, 5.1310b
    • Herodotus, Histories, 5.92
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.3
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.1
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.4
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 4.33
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.24
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 1, 34
    • Athenaeus, of Naucratis, Deipnosophistae, 1.22
    • Aelian, Varia Historia, 1.19
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